Archive for the ‘Letters’ Category

On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Recently a gentleman commented to our FB Solo Thoughts Group with a statement that we hear all too often.  In essence, he stated that when he would choose songs to sing in church and the lyrics in places were inappropriate for his service, he would simply rewrite those lyrics to fit.

Julia Wade, our Director of Digital Sheet Music, brought the comment to me for a “yet again” discussion that was now becoming far too repetitive.

She had written him back the following:

Thanks so much for your contributions to the conversations here in this group!

With respect to changing lyrics, you bring up a relatively constant issue that has come up again and again over the years. It was interesting to me that your comment came on the heels of an hour-long conversation with a soloist/music committee chairperson who called recently to discuss the changing of lyrics for a composer’s work represented on WFM.

That conversation, combined with your comment, showed me one more time that this issue is a timely issue. So, I asked my partner, Peter Link, who is a successful and experienced composer, to give a definitive statement on this subject.

Since this topic of changing lyrics is a new subject, Peter has posted his response to all concerned in a new conversation thread.

Here is his answer:

On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

One does not even consider rewriting Shakespeare to fit their needs. No one would ever consider taking someone’s movie and adding their own scenes to it to make it “better.” I can’t imagine anyone buying a Picasso and bringing it home and adding their own brush strokes to the work to “improve” it. Would anyone ever rewrite the fourth chapter of a Hemingway novel to better the writing?

Perhaps one could get away with doing these things in private, but never in public.

These works of art belong to the artists who created them and are sacrosanct and inviolable to the original artist who created them whether or not the original artist is a master of his/her work or a beginner.  Their “intellectual property” is clearly protected by copywriter law.  So, consequently, changing someone’s lyrics or music to “better fit” one’s needs is not only illegal, but also immoral.  Simply put, their work is not yours to change, whatever your philosophy.

Rather, we would strongly suggest, if the song’s lyrics do not fit your message, go back to your research work and find another song that does.

If your neighbor’s new car is blue, yet you wish it were red, you may not repaint it to your satisfaction.  It belongs to them.  There is a principle here that really needs a deeper understanding by many, it seems.

In essence, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Link

CEO & Creative Director

Watchfire Music

Nuff said.

 

To Webcast Or Not To Webcast

Friday, May 5th, 2017

On May 2, 2017, at 10:00 AM, right after receiving our first general public flyer promoting “Is Anybody Listening? Webcast”, a person, who shall remain anonymous, wrote to me:

“With all due respect, there is nothing like sitting in front of an orchestra as they create sounds with their instruments. I feel that webcasts do not allow us the human contact necessary to intermingle with one another, or watch the person sitting next to you as they smile when they hear a piece of music that thrills them. Or from the beginning of a concert, the search for ones seat, which is such a part of seeing live music.

“Thank you for your suggestion, but I will pass.”

I answered his thoughts with the following:

Hello (Sir),

Thanks for writing back.  You are correct, of course, and that’s why we run the concert live in New York City as well as our webcast. We too love a live show.

But for those who can’t afford to get on a plane from Dallas, TX, much less Paris or some small town in Australia, at one tenth the price of our New York Live show, it’s a pretty compelling experience.  A ticket to a Broadway show now costs between $100 and $500 and up, not to mention the cost of getting there and the extras that “just going out” incur. To view our webcast will cost the individual around $10 or less. And the viewing can be from the comfort of their living room chair with a live visit backstage to meet the stars for a personal talkback at the end that has, so far in the first two webcasts, lasted around 40 minutes plus. In all, a two hour entertainment.

Also, don’t forget television.  It’s not “live”, but it is a powerful entertainment and communication phenomena. I saw a Sting concert the other night on TV that was terrific.  His tour did take him to Madison Square Garden here in NYC, but I was traveling at the time and missed it. I was most grateful to at least experience the better part of it.

Yes, a webcast is an alternative way (with no commercial interruption) to enjoy a performance, and perhaps not as ‘live human’ an experience as one might wish desiring a “live human” performance.  But for those who could never make it in the first place for a large variety of reasons, it’s attracting an otherwise impossible audience all over the world.

One last consideration before I get off my soapbox: We all love our movies.  I used to go out the movies once or twice a week.  Now, if I go, it’s more like maybe once a month and I now watch twice as many movies as I used to from the comfort and enjoyment of my living room chair.  It too is an alternative experience that I’m quite comfortable with.  Also far less expensive …

I don’t expect to change your mind here, rather just give you a deeper insight into why we have gone through so much to do this.  For those who live too far, or cannot afford, we’re finding a most grateful nation. And for those who might just want to stay at home and invite a few friends in for the evening — a great fun and personal experience.  It’s a new world we’re dabbling in and yes, an exciting alternative to a changing world.

I, myself, will renew my Philadelphia Orchestra concerts seats at Carnegie Hall this year and certainly look forward to that!  We hope you will reconsider one night in the future and join us for an extraordinarily reduced cost.  Or join us in the fall in NYC for the next live iteration of “Is Anybody Listening?”  Thanks for listening!

 

IAL Funder Letter #4

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

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Dear Friend,

Is Anybody Listening?

There is something in the stillness

Calling softly to me

Even though I’m all alone

And the sound is like nothing

I’ve ever heard or seen

And it’s calling from the deep unknown

That’s right. It’s a calling. This project is a calling. We’re accepting the call.

Then the mountains move

And the cold wind roars

And the fire fills the sky

But temptation always passes by

Leaving something in the stillness

Calling softly to me

And so, we’re listening.

We believe there is a better way of fixing the problems of the world that we all face going forward, a more spiritual way of healing these issues.

It’s a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Can ya’ hear it?

A still small voice

Calling to me

 And so I’m listening. And I’ve found that …

There is something in the silence

When I quiet my mind

And the water’s rolling over me

And the hush it is endless

And the song runs free

And the voice is like a melody

And I believe that music is the messenger in the communication of these profound ideas of restoration that every one of us already knows.

And the time shall come

When the choice is made

And the voice deep inside

Will stay with you and be your guide

Through the waters ahead

 Well, that time is now.

 It’s a still small voice

Can you hear it?

We each have the power to heal. We do it every day – in small ways, in big ways. Join us in this healing work.

Can you hear it calling?

Learn More:

Is Anybody Listening

Participate Now:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/donate-now/

 

Thanks for listening,

Peter Link

Lyrics from It’s A Still Small Voice, Act II, Is Anybody Listening?

IAL Funder Letter #3

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

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Dear Friend,

So far in my first two letters I’ve asked two questions: “What is the evening all about?” and “Why are we doing this?”

Here’s a third: Who can solve the issues we face in the world ahead?

And here’s how “Is Anybody Listening? will answer it.

Well here we are

Now at last together

Here we are

Soldiers seekers healers are we

What brings us to this mountain top?

What questions lie upon your tongues?

Tell me all about it

What questions lie upon your tongues?

 

Who will heal the world?

Who will save the children?

Who will cleanse the waters of the earth?

Who will heal the world?

Who will stir the ashes?

Who will bring the barren land to birth?

 

Who will rescue the fallen man?

Mend the broken hearted

Build the families

Give back the dignity

That’s now been taken away?

 

Who will heal the world?

Who will bridge the waters?

Who will break the barriers between man?

 

Now you know the answer lies with God

But the task he gives to me

 

So send me up to the mountain top

Send me into the valley below

Send me out into the wilderness

Here I am send me

Here am I   send me

Here I am

 

Who will heal the world?

Who will end the famine?

Who is there to multiply the loaves?

 

Now you know the power lies with God

But the hour belongs to you

 

So send me up to the mountain top

Send me into the valley below

Send me out into the wilderness

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am

 

Send me into the prison yards

Send me into the heart of danger

Send me out into the battleground

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am

 

Send me into the broken homes

Send me out into the asphalt jungles

Send me deep into the troubled sea

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am

 

Send me into intensive care

Send me where the people are dying

There my brothers will be set free

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am send me

            Lyrics from “Who Will Heal The World”, Act II, Is Anybody Listening?

Won’t you join us in this great adventure? Have you thought about what you can do to make a better world for yourself, your kids, all of mankind?

Here’s how you can participate:

 Donate Now:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/donate-now/

Visit the web page:

Is Anybody Listening

 

Thanks for listening,

Peter Link

 

IAL Funder Letter #2

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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Dear Friend,

Once again I ask, “Is Anybody Listening?”

If you are, read on.

So now to the question, “Why are we doing this? To what purpose?”

We are doing this to enlighten. We can all change the world by bringing awareness first, and then healing. And music is the medium of communication. Music, a language of Spirit, is a most wondrous medium.

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” ~Martin Luther

Is music powerful enough to move mankind to a spiritual basis? If it is not, what language is? For music is a universal language.

Using music as the great communicator is powerful, but not enough. One must also have content. One must also have the answers to the problems. Those answers, we believe, are found not in material solutions, but spiritual.

Love is the answer.

Let’s look at terrorism as an example.

Evil cannot be solved through material means. Unfortunately, that’s the way the world tries to solve the issues we all face. But as we look around us, we see pretty clearly that that’s not working.

Well, there’s simply a better way to go about this.

Love is the answer.

And if you lose your faith in man

And find your life in disarray

And question how it all began

And why you went astray

And looking back you wonder

If you had only worked from love

And left regrets to yesterday

And let love find the way

 

Where would you be today?

In a quiet space

In a holy place

If you only had worked from love

And let love find the way

 

Then heart to heart and eye to eye

The bond between becomes restored

And all is well in one accord

When you let love find the way

Lyrics from 1st Act Closer, Is Anybody Listening?

 

Only by becoming more conscious of our spirituality will we triumph over the world’s evils. This is what must be learned and demonstrated by all mankind.

How do we convince them (and ourselves) of this? In the same way we teach children — by setting a great example and communicating the truths of existence in a clear and loving way.

Love is the message. Music is the messenger.

Thanks for listening,

Peter Link

PS – Interested in supporting this project?

 Donate Now:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/donate-now/

Visit the web page:

Is Anybody Listening

 

IAL Funder Letter #1

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

 

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Dear Friend,

We’re close.  We’re almost there.

I am writing to bring you news of the progress and great growth of our exciting project.

As you probably already know, our company, Watchfire Music, along with the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in New York City, is now producing a new project called

“Is Anybody Listening? – Concert Theater and Webcast”

It is an evening of inspirational music designed to bring awareness and healing to many of the world issues we all face.

The pilot production, performed by some of NYC’s top talent, opens this July at the Sheen Center in Manhattan and runs through the summer. The show is designed as a live concert piece that will also be filmed for use in shorter segments and webcast all summer to a world-wide audience.

Here is a further insight into the project.

In my over 40 years working as a composer, music producer and stage director in the entertainment business I can’t remember being so excited as I am now.

What is the evening all about?

It’s about the Scarcity of Water, the Dilemmas of Racism, the Dignity of Women, the Struggles with Aging … and it’s about Love – and its potential to heal these problems and more.  And it’s all communicated through the power of music and song.

It’s a new and groundbreaking idea.  It melds the power of Internet technology with live theater and music in a way that’s really never been done before.  So this summer we’ll be developing this idea in a pilot production and webcasting it to the world with the confidence that “Seeing is believing.

We’re writing to you as potential “early believers.” Our RocketHub funding campaign brought us to this point and provided monies for casting, staffing, music preparation and start up costs. We’re now poised, cast and ready to go into rehearsal after five years of careful experimentation and preparation.  Now, we turn to you — our friends, families and followers — for your financial support.  As an “early believer,” you will give light to this project.”

Want to learn more?

Follow these links:

Donor Levels

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/IAL_Donor_Levels.pdf

Visit the web page:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/

Listen and Watch:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/listen-and-watch/

Imagine Your Own Customized Concert Webcasts

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/listen-and-watch/#just-imagine

Donate Now:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/donate-now/

Thank you for joining us and being part of this inspiring journey!

With love and appreciation to each of you,

Peter Link

Is Anybody Listening? — A Few Thoughts #1

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

PJL-Header

Dear Friend,

I’m going to write a series of letters to you over the next couple of weeks on the subject of our RocketHub Crowd Funding Campaign.

Hopefully they will be insightful, entertaining and informative, but one thing for certain – I’ll keep ‘em short.

The first point is that crowd funding has changed over the last five years since we did our first. We raised over $12,000 in 3 weeks to support the release of my Goin’ Home CD.

Back then, it was a novelty, this crowd funding idea – this idea of giving just for the simple act of giving. Today, it’s probably been over exposed – everybody’s asking and fewer are giving.

I was concerned about this aspect going into this project, but the need was there on our part and it clearly solves a great need on our tribe’s part, so both Julia and I thought it a no brainer.

We started out great! 20% within the first week …

But I promised to keep it short, so …

I hope you’ll stick with me here.

Please visit our “Is Anybody Listening?” project and watch the video.

We’ll speak again soon.

Many thanks for listening,

 PJL-Signature-footer

THANK YOU to those who have already funded our project.
We kept you on this list so that you can follow and/or spread the word.
 

“I’d Like To Improve Your Music”

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

sheet-music-Recently I received a letter from a nice church person who suggested that he’d “like to make some improvements” to one of the settings of an arrangement I did for a Julia Wade CD that eventually ended up as WFM digital sheet music.  He even suggested that he had, in fact, already made these changes and performed them in a church service.

Both I and my staff were a bit taken aback by this suggestion, but totally understood that this person had it well in mind that they were doing a good thing and probably that I would be most happy to address his fixes of my composition.

There followed a series of letters back and forth in which I tried mightily to explain the awkwardness and actual legalities of the request.  In retrospect, since this sort of thing has happened several times previous to this time, I have decided to reprint portions of my attempt at explaining the “facts of life and music” to this dear man who only had it in his heart to “improve” or “better” my composition.  In the following, the names are changed to protect the innocent.

And so I wrote:

“Oddly, I wear two hats here – one as Creative Director of WFM and the other as Arranger of the work in question.  I’m going to try to approach this moment with my Creative Director hat on as much as possible. 

First, music is an interesting medium.  There are rules, and rules to be broken.  There are tastes and taste changers.  There are styles and evolutions of style.  And then there are the people, the audience, the listeners – each with their own particular tastes, and responses to genres (some people like Country music; some don’t.).  One thing I’ve learned for sure is that “ya’ can’t please all the people all the time.”  That said, we here at WFM were a bit taken aback at your suggestion to “do some improvements to the There Is A Balm In Gilead setting.” 

Let me also mention that it’s not the first time we’ve had to deal with these kinds of good intentions.  In fact, it comes up all too often and if you are a reader of my blog you would know that I do address the legalities of these kinds of good intentions from time to time.

The more concerning part of this is “We used it recently, and I thought of some ways to enrich the connective/transitional material and unify it.” This implies that you have already done this and performed it with the changes in your church.  If I am reading this implication wrongly, I apologize.

One of our staffers brought forth this metaphor in a staff meeting discussion: “It’s as if a teacher decided to rewrite sections of Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell To Arms” before she read the novel to her class.”

Now I’m not putting myself at all on the mastery level of an Ernest Hemingway, but the point here is that he is a published author whose work is intellectual property governed by U.S. Copyright laws and international agreements.  It cannot be changed.  Not one word; not one comma.  No one would try to rewrite or have the right to rewrite Hemingway or any other published author, for that matter. (more…)


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